Tips for a Successful One-Person or SOHO Business Plan
To succeed as a self-employed person or SOHO business owner, you need to possess certain key strengths — qualities that not everyone has. You need to be able to accomplish several things that are absolutely critical to a one-person businesses success.
Commit to doing one thing well: How many self-employed people have you met who shuffle through a stack of business cards as they explain the many ventures they’re into, personifying the old line jack-of-all-trades, master of none.
Establish pricing, billing, and collection policies: From the get-go, you need to know what you’ll charge and how you’ll collect. Whether you’re selling time or products, your pricing must be competitive, an accurate reflection of the value of your offering, and high enough to cover your production costs plus an adequate amount of profit to your business.
Run your business like a business, not like an adjunct of your personal checkbook or a hobby that you pursue in your spare time: Small-business start-ups are often born at the kitchen table. But to succeed, you need to turn your idea into a formal business structure — complete with a designated work space, a dedicated business bank account, and a written business plan that includes financial projections and reporting systems to keep your business on track.
When you work for yourself, no one else tells you when to start or when to knock off for the day. You have no salary cap, no performance reviews, no corporate politics, and no supervisors.
On the other hand, solo careerists usually work longer and harder than salaried employees and require more self-discipline. And, although they don’t answer to bosses per se, they do deal with clients, who sometimes make tough bosses look easy in comparison.
If you work for yourself, you get to
Be your own boss
Determine your own schedule
Control your own economic fate
Choose the kinds of work you want to do
But you don’t get
A regular paycheck
Unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation
Protection under labor laws
Getting your one-person business off to a strong start is hardly like rocket science if — and this is a big if — you plan in advance and stick to your decisions.